CAPE TOWN – Can getting off to a good start ever not be, well, good?
According to South African Sevens team captain Philip Snyman, it sometimes can.
The Blitzboks’ slow start to the World Rugby Sevens Series season, after ending sixth in the opening leg in Dubai and third in Cape Town, might just have a galvanising effect on the squad as they head into the Hamilton, New Zealand, event, Snyman believes.
“The fact that we had a slower start was a good thing as this time around we will pick up speed and gather momentum as we train and play together more and more,” Snyman explained.
The Blitzboks were on a roll right from the start in the 2016/17 and 2017/18 seasons, and although they went on to win the overall series title on both occasions, it required quite an effort to seal the deal in emphatic fashion in the final tournament in Paris last year.
“In previous years, we had fast starts and had to hold on towards the end of the season. This time it looks to be the other way around,” the skipper added.
Having lost a number of experienced players to the 15-man game, while they have also had to deal with a couple of injuries early on in the season, Snyman is confident that the South Africans have the right balance to get the job done in New Zealand.
“The SA Rugby Sevens Academy has produced some real talent in recent years,” he said.
“We have lost the likes of Rosko Specman, Dylan Sage and Tim Agaba from last year’s team and still have a couple of injured players back home, but all the right ingredients are in this year’s group to make it successful again.
“The old hands know what is needed and the young ones will bring it on.
“It is also wonderful to play in the tournament this weekend when Kyle Brown will equal Frankie Horne’s record of 68 World Series tournaments, and it's great to have Chris Dry back as well, after more than a year on the sidelines.
“I never had serious injuries, while Kyle and Chris did, so it will be a superb feeling to run out with both them yet again.”@WynonaLouw